The Secret Traction Leverage of Door Drop Marketing

by Rick Pullan on 14/02/2012

In my last article I postured that for any consumer brand selling through intermediaries to target households in the UK there is no better targetable, cost efficient medium than door drop marketing…or what I call ‘direct promotional advertising’, particularly if you use SMART-Drop’s finer targeting functionality.

And the traction is stunning…get your brand proposition and offer message to the right target household (use Mosaic’s latest classification of 67 types against your own consumer data profile) – then you will trigger three behaviours (the minority of people ignore you, proven in research tracking), the majority of the people you’ve carefully targeted do one of three things:

  1. They use the offer, e.g. a voucher or coupon because there’s a sense of urgency created by the closing date
  2. They choose not to accept your approach at this time
  3. Or they buy your proposition without using the offer

There is actually a fourth, which we pro-actively suggest, pass it to a friend or neighbour if it’s not for you or when you’ve finished.  The third one is what we call ‘the advertising effect’, because the consumer or customer likes what you’re saying but doesn’t have the voucher at time of purchase.  In my experience most marketing people don’t appreciate this until it’s fully explained.

Some industry pundits say the advertising effect is up to twelve times the promotional effect (people using the offer).  This means if you got a coupon or voucher response of 3% from your targeted door drop marketing, then the advertising effect could be an additional 36%, nearly 40% of people intending to buy as a result of your communication. And that’s buying just once; if they like you then they’ll buy again and again because you’re in their repertoire. What is the average purchase frequency of your product in a year?  What is the average annual consumer value?  That’s what you judge it on. What are you prepared to pay per pack to get a new consumer household?

Measuring Door Drop Marketing

Despite this debate however, what is crucial is to measure the effect of door drop marketing on total sales, so you can calculate profitability; we do this by tracking sales before, during and after the campaign (against a control panel) to measure uplift and residual sales.

Then if you put unique codes on your packs too, so people can upload them to an appropriate landing page and convert them to points to exchange for appropriate rewards (such as free product or product related stuff), you build the traction. Why not give away a free code on the door drop leaflet…you get new trial and penetration, and, for those people that respond to the codes, your share of their purchase radar grows, from more purchase frequency and share of repertoire (loyalty).

So the power of door drop marketing is even greater now than a few years ago. Why? Because the door drop communication not only whets peoples appetite, not only gives them an offer, it can now also invite them online to your landing page (through a QR code, or digital watermarketing, see the article on maximising response). Continue the customer journey online with interesting and relevant information then they may register, so you have a new consumer to commune with.

Direct Promotional Advertising Model

Based on our experience and case studies we have created a ‘direct promotional advertising’ model that combines both printed physical door drop leaflets with online/digital e-drops, to create sales without having to cut price at point of sale. There are various test investment levels, for example spend £25-30K to reach 250K target households (in superstore catchment areas), we’re estimating sales of 50-60K units, a recruitment cost of 42-50p, which should then be related to the brand’s average purchase frequency across the year – if 4 times, a cost per pack of 10.5-12.5p.  The purpose of the test is to establish, for your product proposition, the effect on total sales, new triallist household and purchase frequency metrics, thereby establishing return on investment for national a roll out opportunity.

In conclusion, there are four key questions we are asking packaged goods manufacturers, brand owners and retailers during this current price war climate:

  1. How are you adding value to your price platform to strengthen your competitive edge?
  2. How are you promoting new interest and sales at normal price, in both regional and account sweet spots?
  3. How are you building residual revenue from promotional advertising?
  4. How are you influencing the customer journey through joined up marketing that builds your opted in customer database for future low cost interaction?

(if you want more background on the relevant economic factors affecting these four key questions, email me and I’ll send it to you).

I’ll leave you to decide whether door drop marketing is an above-the-line or below-the-line technique.  My opinion is that it is both a strategic and tactical marketing technique, because it:

  1. Strengthens the media plan
  2. Combines consumer/brand marketing and shopper/trade marketing to increase trial & household penetration
  3. Enables digital connection, social media and word of mouth
  4. Puts more control in your hands for point of sale pricing

And the ‘direct promotional advertising model’ is an elegant answer to the above four key questions, if done properly.

For many, many commercial scenarios, door drop marketing is better than TV, which is expensive with massive wastage – door drop marketing is better, if done properly. To help follow the link to my 9 tips to get a campaign to market.  But as I said in the first article, please use an expert, don’t try and do it yourself, because for each tip there is a lexicon of knowledge to be harnessed.

Don’t forget my little challenge – if either of these articles resonate with you, share with me one key issue you’re trying to address in the next six months and I’ll recommend how to achieve it.

Find out more about Rick Pullan via his LinkedIn Profile

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– who has written 3 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.


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